The Baldus Lab

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The Baldus Lab

The identification of genetic aberrations in acute leukemia has advanced our understanding of leukemogenesis. Many molecular markers have been discovered in the past that not only showed useful in predicting outcome, but lead to the development of specific therapeutic targets. Our team of researchers focus on identifying new genetic targets implicated in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

As main research project funded by the Mildred Scheel Stiftungsprofessur (Deutsche Krebshilfe) will investigate genetic alterations of bone marrow stroma cells of AML patients. These alterations and their functional consequenses will be studied with respect to the role in the leukemia-stroma-interaction. In particularm mechanisms of stroma induced drug resistance will be unravelled and a small-molecule-screen will be performed to identify molecules to overcome stroma mediated chemotherapy resistance.

Research Topics

We further concentrate on the characterization of

- molecular markers of prognostic relevance

By analyzing aberrant mRNA expression, mutation and methylation patterns, we are dedicated to establish associations of patient cohorts to overall prognosis and outcome.

- altered signal transduction pathways

Through global gene expression analysis using microarrays we are able to associate genome-wide gene signatures to aberrant expression of target genes. It's these signatures that give some insight into how pathways are deregulated.

- regulation of gene expression (methylation and microRNAs)

Research on DNA methylation is a key area in our laboratory. It is used as a link between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of transcription.

- new therapeutic targets

On the base of molecular characterization we select and validate candidate genes and transfer them into in vitro models to investigate underlying molecular mechanisms. This is how pathway analysis leads to the identification of altered activity in pathways (WNT, MAPK) that can be directly addressed as a target for therapy.

- next generation sequencing (NGS)

In cooperation with other research groups we are performing whole exome NGS analyses as well as gene target enrichment followed by NGS to identify molecular targets as prognostic and therapeutic targets in specific leukemic subgroups as

Methods

  • Gene Expression Analysis (MicroArrays, real time PCR, conventional PCR)
  • Promoter Array (ChiP-chip)
  • Pyro Sequencing (Methylation Analysis, SNP-Analysis)
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Mutation Analysis
  • Cloning
  • Protein Biochemistry
  • Cell Culture
  • Proliferation-, Senescence-, Differentiation-, Apoptosis- and Drug Resistance-Assays
  • Transfection (stable and transient Knockdown and Overexpression; siRNA, miRNA; Overexpression Vector)
  • Inducible Gene Expression System
  • Reporterassays
  • Stroma co-cultures
  • Target Enrichment (NGS Analysen)

Group leader

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